What is a speed awareness course?
Speed awareness courses are designed to be a deterrent for drivers who are caught exceeding the speed limit on UK roads.
If you’re ever caught speeding, you might be given three options: receiving three penalty points and a £100 fine, going to court to appeal the office, or attending a speed awareness course.
Don’t assume you’ll be offered a course if you do speed though; each individual police force can decide whether they offer them or not, and not everyone is eligible.
Speed awareness course eligibility
Typically, you’ll only be offered a speed awareness course if you haven’t attended one in the past three years and your clocked speed was in the acceptable range, either the speed limit +10% + 2mph or the speed limit + 10%. For example, in a 40mph speed limit zone, the acceptable range to be eligible for a course could be up to 46mph.
What happens during a speed awareness course?
Speed awareness courses aren’t designed to punish people; instead, they’re used to educate drivers and encourage them not to commit the same offence again.
They’re run by the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS). Each police force will appoint a course provider to deliver courses in their region. There are locations all over the country and some areas offer online courses.
Courses usually last between four and five hours and are led by a trainer who will deliver classroom-based training, workshops, and – in some cases – practical training sessions in a car. The course leader might also show videos or use other visual aids to bring the training to life.
Topics covered can include the benefits of complying with speed limits, attitudes around speeding, the consequences of speeding, personal responsibility, and the impact of your behaviour on other road users.
There’s no test at the end and you won’t pass or fail but you might be asked to contribute to class discussions or answer questions throughout the day.
How much does a speed awareness course cost?
Prices can vary by provider, but you’ll typically pay between £80 to £100 to attend a course.
Why choose a speed awareness course over a fixed penalty?
Attending a speed awareness course might be inconvenient and, in some cases, more expensive than paying a fine but there are advantages to choosing this option. Not only will you get a useful refresher on the effect speeding can have on other road users, but it also means you’ll avoid getting points on your licence. There’s no need to inform your car insurer that you’ve attended a speed awareness course unless they ask you directly but having points on your licence (and they stay there for at least four years) can affect your insurance premium.